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Tag Archives: Bunreacht na hÉireann

Floodgates

President Michael D Higgins has now signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act. It is now law. So here’s some history. In 1977, a Fianna Fáil landslide saw a remarkable influx of new TDs into the Dáil. Three elections in eighteen months in the early 1980s saw further changes, and the first major issue […]

Let’s pretend

Let’s pretend our constitution doesn’t guarantee a woman’s right to find out about abortion services in Great Britain. Let’s pretend our constitution doesn’t explicitly promise that woman that she won’t be arrested as she boards the jet to fly to Britain for that abortion. Let’s pretend instead that Ireland is a sacred place where no […]

Follow through

In 1979, the people of Ireland voted to amend the constitution, so that graduates of universities other than the NUI and Dublin University (Trinity) could vote in Seanad elections. But although NIHE Dublin and Limerick were later upgraded to university status, their graduates were never given a Seanad vote. 33 years later, our government wants […]

The chair

Dear Enda, I see that despite near-15% unemployment, you’ve having difficulty finding a chair for the constitutional convention, so I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring. I believe I’m an excellent candidate, not least because I’ll settle for €92K, so Brendan Howlin can rest assured I’m value for money. Now, my qualifications: I’m […]

For the record

Last week, in response to the proposed referendum on pay cuts for judges, the courts.ie website uploaded a PDF with the not-very-inspiring title “Memorandum on the proposed referendum on article 35.5 of the constitution”. I’ve already written what I think about the rows over judges’ salaries here and here, but this post is prompted by […]

Basic Law

In a attempt to appear radical, Fine Gael are pitching a series of constitutional amendments if elected into government. Some are cosmetic. Reducing the president’s term of office from seven to five years, the right to petition the Oireachtas. Some are welcome. More powers to (some) Oireachtas committees. Some are sheer populism. Cut the number […]

Blue Pencilling the Bunreacht

The NUI is to be abolished, with implications for Seanad elections. So how about proper reform, instead of minimalist tinkering? Seanad Éireann shall be composed of sixty members, of whom eleven shall be nominated members and forty-nine shall be elected members. A person to be eligible for membership of Seanad Éireann must be eligible to […]

Tús Maith

A nascent campaign to repeal the constitutional provision on blasphemy has received support from an unexpected source: the Anglican Bishop of Cork. Atheist Ireland, a group established ‘to build a rational, ethical and secular society free from superstition and supernaturalism’ has decided it will oppose the new law, signed by President McAleese today. And the […]

Any Other Business

It’s going to be an interesting week in Dáil Éireann. Desperate not to cut back on their holiday time,the government has opted instead to cut debating time, and plans to guillotine several bills into law by Friday. Among the highlights: The blasphemy clause in the Defamation bill, making it illegal to say naughty things if […]

Just Say No

‘All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the law’, our constitution grandly proclaims. Those words are clear cut. Among other things, I take them to mean that everyone should be pay their taxes, with no distinction in how citizens are treated. Which leads me to the conclusion, judges should pay their taxes. […]